5 Top Tips to Pass the Video Interview Stage

Video interviews have been a popular recruitment tool for years, and now are obviously more common than ever. But the video interview stage is one that is often overlooked, and lots of candidates are screened out at this stage.

To help you perform at your best, here are my top 5 video interview tips.

1. We’ve all heard about the need to dress appropriately on a video interview, but it’s also really important to consider what I call the ‘dressing of the background’.

Pay close attention to not only what you’re wearing, but what the background behind you looks like. For me the ideal backdrop is a plain wall. This means it’s a background free from any distractions such as posters, books, beds, dirty laundry, etc.

Also make sure you’re conducting the video interview in a really quiet space, one that’s free of noise and distractions. So just tell your housemates or family to keep the noise down and not to disturb you.

2. Test your audio and video quality, and consider how you are positioning your webcam.

Your webcam should ideally be eye-level, since the recruiter doesn’t want to be seeing up your nose, or equally, have you kind of looking down on them in what might come across as a bit condescending.

Remember the webcam should be your main focal point when you deliver your answers. It’s fine to look away to think occasionally, but I’d suggest just trying to hold your gaze, maybe at least 75% of the time on the webcam.

And my bonus tip here, is to avoid looking at yourself in the little webcam preview bit – if in doubt put a sticky note over it!

3. My third tip is all about the way in which you deliver your answer. Yes, what you say is incredibly important, but the way that you say it is also key.

I’ve mentioned the importance of good eye contact, but you should also consider smiling and using expressive hand gestures just to really reinforce your answers. You should also turn up the ‘enthusiasm dial’ and try to be a bit more lively than you might normally be, as the camera can often take away some of your personality and character.

4. Make sure you answer the question. So many candidates (sometimes like in their essays) can often lose sight of the actual question being asked.

Regardless of whether it’s a motivational, a competency or strength-based question, keep a keen focus on actually answering it. Not only will this keep you concise and precise, but it’ll will stop you from rambling, running out of time and ultimately not giving the recruiter what they’re looking for.

5. And finally, practice, practice, practice. Video interviewing is a skill in its own right and only by practicing can you really improve, so I’d really recommend you go on to GraduatesFirst and practice using your own device.

So, those are my top tips! Preparation is so key so I’d really encourage you see your Careers Consultant to better understand how to anticipate the sort of questions that might come up on the day and also just get fully prepared. We’re here throughout the year, so go to My Jobs Online to book your appointment.

Will Peshall, Careers Consultant, Henley Business School